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Old 05-07-14, 01:11 PM   #1
Gerryattrick
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N+1: a nice quandary

I maintain the bikes of a young married couple who ride in a cycling club. They're always looking to upgrade their bikes and don't think about the money. Recently the husband upgraded his year old training bike to an Ultegra groupset.

They're family friends so I never charge them, I enjoy working on expensive modern bikes for a change. On the weekend they came to the house with a box full of a complete, nearly new Tiagra groupset, including 9 speed brake/shifters, and gave it to me as thanks for the work I do.

That has given me a nice problem. I've just built up a fast hybrid, which I enjoy riding, so should I bite the bullet and build a full road bike as well having just decided I only need my MTB and hybrid? I have everything in the shed except a decent frame/fork.

I've ridden some race geometry bikes, which just don't suit my old body or type of riding, so I'm tempted to go for a more relaxed bike. The problem is I'm not about to spend a lot of money so should I look for a used, older "quality" frame, probably steel, or a new frame? My budget is around 200/$300.

I'm in no hurry as I will be off the bikes for a few months from July but would welcome suggestions before I start looking.
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Old 05-07-14, 01:41 PM   #2
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Relaxed ? 71or2 degree seat tube Vs 73? or you want to do the longer setback seatpost ?

seems the usual stuff is all 73 these days ..

got the line on any Used Mercian Vincitore frames that go cheap?
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Old 05-07-14, 02:24 PM   #3
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When I was looking for a frame to build on, I decided a touring frame fit my needs, so I started considering the Surly LHT. Before I could make up my mind, a vintage Schwinn Voyageur showed up on Ebay that was close by, and I grabbed it for 1/2 the price of the LHT frame.

All that to say, if a relaxed geometry is what you seek, then a touring bike frame may be your answer. You might have to store the brake calipers and buy some canti's, but if it leads to a bike you would enjoy riding, it is an option.
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Old 05-07-14, 02:45 PM   #4
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The problem is I'm not about to spend a lot of money so should I look for a used, older "quality" frame, probably steel, or a new frame? My budget is around 200/$300.
Are you in the UK?
If so there should be a ready supply of used classic British club rider & Audax framesets that provide a lively & comfortable ride and accept reasonably wide tires w/ mudguards. Fitted w/ modern kit you would have a very nice machine for a gentleman of a certain age to proceed about on.


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Old 05-07-14, 04:26 PM   #5
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I'm ready for a lot of searching on ebay or Gumtree (UK version of Craigslist)! For a decent Mercian or similar I might have to stretch the upper limit a bit.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:51 PM   #6
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I'm ready for a lot of searching on ebay or Gumtree (UK version of Craigslist)! For a decent Mercian or similar I might have to stretch the upper limit a bit.
Part of the fun is in the hunt, be patient.

Make sure that you only look for a very good fit, double check fit.
Make, tubing type & esoteric doo-dads are well & good but a there is no substitute for a proper fit.
Buying an entire bike & retrofitting w/ your modern kit may be the most cost effective path.

The club riders who you wrench for may be the best contact to un-earth classic kit in good nick.
Cycling clubs tend to be tight knit and can lead to "I know this guy who used to ride with us about your size........."

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Old 05-07-14, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I'm ready for a lot of searching on ebay or Gumtree (UK version of Craigslist)! For a decent Mercian or similar I might have to stretch the upper limit a bit.
I've ridden my Mercian Vincitore since '86 and just love it for a comfortable ride when I'm not in a hurry. Would for sure recommend a Mercian, King tour or equivalent.

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Old 05-07-14, 08:45 PM   #8
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Part of the fun is in the hunt, be patient.
That's what I think too.

Rather than build up a bike that you're not sure you want, keep the components in a safe, dry place and a solution will present itself to you. Always has for me.
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Old 05-07-14, 10:29 PM   #9
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I have a similar quandry. Recently became in possession of a newly built Pacenti SL23 wheelset - a deal I couldn't pass up. Problem is I don't have a bike that needs new wheels. The solution seems to be to build another road bike. But I don't NEED another road or cross or touring or disc road bike.
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